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Film: Walk on Water

Walk on Water (ללכת על המים, Lalekhet Al HaMayim) is a 2004 Israeli film. It is directed by New York-born Israeli director Eytan Fox and stars Lior Ashkenazi, Knut Berger, and Caroline Peters. The screenplay was written by Gal Uchovsky. Most of the dialogue takes place in English, although there is much in Hebrew and German.

Eyal is a Mossad hitman who targets enemies of Israel. His wife has recently committed suicide, and his chief Menachem decides that he needs to take on a less challenging assignment: to find Alfred Himmelman, an aging Nazi war criminal, and get him "before God does". In order to track down the old man, Eyal poses as a tour guide and befriends Himmelman's adult grandchildren, Axel and Pia.


Walk on Water provides examples of the following:

  • The Ace: Eyal.
  • Anti-Hero: Eyal, type III.
  • Arab-Israeli Conflict: Takes place during the height of the Second Intifada in Israel, when suicide bombings were an almost daily occurrence.
  • Babies Ever After: Eyal and Pia are shown to be happily married with a child two years after the events of the film.
  • Badass Israeli: Eyal is a realistic version of the trope.
  • Batman Cold Open
  • Beware the Nice Ones: It is ultimately Axel who carries out the killing of his grandfather on his own initiative, after Eyal spares the aged, sickly man's life.
  • Black Speech: In Eyal's family of German Holocaust survivors, German became this.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Eyal.
  • Cunning Linguist: Eyal.
  • Da Chief: Menachem.
  • Distant Finale: Two years later, Eyal and Pia are married with a child named Tom.
  • Driven to Suicide: Iris (Eyal's wife).
  • Follow in My Footsteps: Axel's father wants his son to join the Family Business, but Axel is happier working as an educator, and it doesn't help that his father has been unaccepting of his son's sexuality.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Seeing Axel in a suit has this effect on Eyal.
    • Earlier in the film he reacts this way to Pia dressing up, as well.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Eyal.
  • Hiding Behind the Language Barrier: Eyal uses Hebrew to do this several times around Axel, and relates an anecdote about his old schoolmates who, on a student exchange to Germany, played a dark "game" by approaching random passers-by who were old enough to have been adults during World War II, and asking them in Hebrew, "What were you doing when my family was being burnt?".
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: What Iris probably thought of Eyal's profession before she committed suicide.
  • Innocent Bystander: The drag queens in the Berlin underground.
  • Manly Tears: Even though he can't cry, Eyal breaks down in remorse in Axel's arms at the end.
  • Nazi Grandpa: Alfred Himmelman.
  • Nazi Hunter: Eyal is initially reluctant and prefers to let the old nazi die but Menachem insists on punishing him before God does.
  • No Sense of Humor: Eyal.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Eyal can kill a man in a matter of seconds with his syringe.
  • Save the Villain: Eyal eventually finds himself unable to kill Alfred Himmelman. However, Axel shows up and turns off his grandfather's oxygen tank.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Axel and Eyal, respectively. The contrast is portrayed as a cultural difference, in particular during the scene at the Dead Sea.
    Axel: "Is it true Israeli men don't like to talk about their feelings?"
  • Stepford Smiler: The mother of Axel and Pia.
  • Straight Gay: Axel Himmelman.
  • Switch to English: Pia speaks some Hebrew, but her brother doesn't speak a word of it, and despite the fact that Eyal speaks perfect German, he hides this in order to spy on the Himmelmans and so for most of the film, the trio switch to English to communicate.
  • Title Drop: When Eyal and Axel arrive at the Sea of Galilea, Axel tries to walk on a partially immersed deadwood branch. He trips in the water.
    Eyal: Hey Jesus, they lied to you! It's impossible to walk on water!
  • Twofer Token Minority: Two ethnic minority LGBTQ persons appear in the film - first Rafik, a gay Palestinian who hooks up with Axel at a bar, and later a black drag queen in Berlin.
  • Unable to Cry: Eyal, due to medical reasons. He has to apply eye drops regularly.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Axel spends much of the film as the idealist to Eyal's cynic, but exposure to the harsh realities of life in conflict-ridden Israel does have an effect on him, and the knowledge of his family's Dark Secret and the presence of his grandfather in his house drive him to kill the old man.

Walking TallFilms of 2000 - 2004 What the #$*! Do We Know!?

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